£2.5 million investment to reduce vehicle emissions (updated)

The ‘Switched On Fleets’ initiative provides a major funding boost and is aimed at driving forward public sector fleets’ green credentials by increasing the number of electric vehicles on the road.

The Scottish Government ambitious climate change targets include phasing out all petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles by 2050, and has already seen the introduction of over 200 electric vehicles across Scottish Local Authorities. This latest round of funding shows the Scottish Government’s continued commitment to fulfil its ‘Switched On Scotland: A Roadmap to Widespread Adoption of Plug-in Vehicles’ manifesto by decreasing the number of fossil-fuelled vehicles within Scotland’s public sector fleets.

Making the announcement, Transport Minister Derek Mackay, said:

“I am delighted to be launching this new initiative which is providing expert analysis highlighting where electric vehicles can be most effectively introduced into fleets. We are also backing this analysis with £2.5 million of funding to enable councils and their partners to act by buying or leasing electric cars and vans.

“We are committed to freeing our towns, cities and communities from the damaging effects of petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles and Switched On Fleets takes us further down the road to achieving this. More electric vehicles on the roads is an important step in increasing awareness among drivers that there are viable alternatives to petrol and diesel cars.”

The Roadmap, which contains a range of commitments by the Scottish Government, has already seen over £17 million of investment since its launch in 2013 - including the installation of over 600 publicly available charge points across Scotland and a further 200 in non-public locations such as council depots, workplaces and people’s homes.

Recent figures released by intelligentcarleasing.com, which compared all 433 local authorities in the UK, showed that Scotland is leading the rest of Britain in electric vehicle take up, with four Scottish councils in the top five using the greener alternative.

Colin Ferguson, CEO of Switched On Fleets partner, Route Monkey, said:

"Our evidence-based analysis for Switched On Fleets enables Councils to make informed choices on electric vehicle deployment, so that these vehicles deliver cost savings as well as environmental benefits. Working closely with the Energy Saving Trust , we can help Scotland’s public sector fleets remain at the forefront of electric vehicle adoption."

Ian Murdoch, Energy Saving Trust, said:

“With the growing network of public chargers in Scotland, it’s now a really practical and cost-effective option to run an electric vehicle. Fuel costs for electric cars are approximately a fifth of the fuel costs for a petrol or diesel car – and they have the added bonus of producing no harmful exhaust emissions and significantly improving local air quality.

Most major manufacturers including Nissan, Renault, Volkswagen and BMW offer at least one electric option with the majority providing a typical range of up to 100 miles. There are also a number of plug-in hybrid models that offer extended range through an auxiliary petrol or diesel engine. Energy Saving Trust, funded by Transport Scotland, can provide free, impartial advice for businesses and consumers on which electric vehicle might suit your needs best.”

With grants of up to £5,000 available towards the purchase cost of an electric car, £8,000 available for the purchase of an electric van and Scotland’s charging point infrastructure continuing to expand - electric vehicles are becoming more mainstream and affordable.

Electric vehicle owners currently pay no road tax and are cheaper to run at 2p to 3p a mile to power an electric car compared to 16p a mile for the average fossil-fuelled family car. Scottish households that buy an electric vehicle have the added bonus of a 100 percent grant for a home charging point.

Notes to editors

  • The Switched On Scotland Roadmap focuses specifically on battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which are collectively referred to as plug-in vehicles.
  • Electric vehicles have a positive impact on health, wellbeing and the environment. They can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve local air quality and reduce noise pollution.
  • In Scotland a third of all car journeys are less than two miles long and nearly a quarter of all trips are one mile or less. In a regular car, these journeys emit a disproportionate amount of carbon into the air, whereas electric vehicles provide a cleaner method of transport
  • Electric cars are becoming more mainstream, affordable and viable. Grants of up to £5,000 are available towards the purchase cost of an electric car with up to £8,000 available for the purchase of an electric van.
  • There’s also free installation of a home charging point, zero vehicle road tax and no company car tax for pure electric vehicles. (Low company car tax for plug-in hybrids and extended range electric vehicles)
  • Electric vehicles have cheaper running costs - 2/3p a mile to power an electric car compared to 16p a mile for the average family car (Source – EST website)
  • More people in Scotland are now driving electric vehicles and there is a variety of models and types available from most major manufacturers like the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe. New cars are coming onto the market all the time.
  • ‘Switched On Scotland’ sets out the Scottish Government’s vision is that: by 2050 Scottish towns, cities and communities will be free from the damaging effects of petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles; by 2040 almost all new vehicles sold will be near zero-emission at the tailpipe; and by 2030 half of all fossil-fuelled vehicles will be phased-out of urban environments across Scotland.
  • Visit http://www.greenerscotland.org for more information on electric vehicles and details on how to arrange a test drive.

For further information please contact John Scott at Stripe on 0131 561 8628 or email electricvehicles@stripecommunications.co.uk

Published 27 Feb 2015